As a gay man and a survivor of gun violence I have some brief reactions. It is impossible to understand this level of carnage. 50 confirmed deaths and 53 injured. More than 100 families adversely impacted. Just the notion of 50 or more funerals over the next few days related to a single incident is impossible to appreciate. As a human being I am unable to rationally comprehend the scale of misery.
We are told that the father of the shooter claims that his son was outraged over gay men kissing within view of his son. We hear that sentiment every day from people like Tony Perkins. Some segments of our society make it acceptable to be extremely offended by gay people kissing in front of children. It is all part of the persistently propagated drivel that gay people represent a threat to kids. It is the very essence of homophobia. Apparently the shooter's bigotry was combined with, and supported by, extreme religious zealotry. The result seems to be domestic terrorism expressed as a hate crime.
As a survivor of gun violence I have acute PTSD. I should be precluded from purchasing a gun — I am not. There is something wrong with that.
In Florida we are armed to the teeth. People have personal armories. Call it selective observation but we do not seem to be using any of the weaponry for self-defense. Rather, we seem to employ our WMD to kill innocent civilians and to commit other crimes. I do not understand why people need to have the right to purchase military style weapons with high capacity magazines. How many lives in Orlando would have been spared if the shooter was limited to a conventional rifle with a clip half the size of the AR-15? How many bodies are required before we do something meaningful?
It is futile to be frustrated by our gun politics. Public policy with respect to gun safety reflects gun politics in contrast to reason. We can only effect change when a majority of our federal legislators are willing to stand up to the NRA in conjunction with justices of the Supreme Court who accept rational limitations to the Second Amendment.
That can only happen when all of us vote every year. We have the votes to effect sanity in gun safety regulations. We seem, however, to have lacked the voters.